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Forking Elderberries!! Have I really screwd Up?

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Woodbee

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Well my wife and I went out and hoarded Elderberries on Friday. We brought home 45 gallons of the little purple monsters. We spent about 6 hours forking the buggers into a tub of water,floating off the unripe and putting them in freezer bags. We got 8-5 1/2 lb bags. We didn't get through a quarter of them. Our backs were killing us. So yesterday I took the remainder of the berries to a friends house and pressed the rest of them in a 150 year old cider press. I removed most of the larger woody stems before pressing. I looked at the remaining pulp after pressing and found that the unripe berries were hard enough not to have given up their juice. I ended up with 4.5 gallons of some wonderful looking juice. THEN I started looking around the WEB to find out about how to go about conversions of juice per pound of fruit. What I did find was all sorts of warnings about alkaloids and poisons in the stems and unripe fruit. So do you guys and dolls think that I have just ruined a bunch of good berries. Is there any way to test my juice to see what kind of evil might be lurking there? Will a slow boil of the juice help?
And if it is usable how much juice per gallon of must should I use?
Thanks all. Brad
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
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The poison in the berries and stems is called sambunigrin.

If you pressed the berries I doubt that much poison is leeched into the juice. Most of this is released as the berries are pulp-fermented.
However there could be unripe and half ripe berries that can have released some juice that contains sambunigrin.

This is the reason I always put on my web-log to better be safe as sorry:
BOIL THEM.

Now US berries seem to be different as european berries but then the jury is still out on this.

I would hate so see that you got sick and with getting sick proved that I was right in saying they are poisenous.
BOIL THEM.

Go the safe way.
Boiling the berries and juice will drive off sambunigrin.
15 minutes of heating should do the trick.

Luc
 

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